The Great British Enterprise Opportunity – research report, supported by Atos
Using digital to unleash the nation’s entrepreneurial potential
Starting a new business can be daunting and satisfying, stressful and energising, as well as every other emotion in-between. That is why so many people who might consider setting up their own business, decide not to.
There are many reasons why people choose not to take the leap. Fear of failure and financial risk are challenges which, for many people, are difficult to overcome. However, another widely cited reason is the lack of information on how and where to begin. Polling carried out for this report found that 1 in 4 people and nearly half of all those aged under 35 are put off from starting their own business due to the complexity of the process.
The lack of a central point of information for would-be entrepreneurs is one of the principal reasons why there are over 70,000 people across the UK who have the skills and determination to set up their own business but choose not to.
Moreover, the rise of digital technology has transformed the jobs market, with the changes in the working model enabling more people at different stages in their careers to consider either starting their own enterprise or joining an SME.
Additionally, our research found that there are over 1.6million existing small businesses – especially micro-businesses consisting of less than 10 employees – which are failing to maximise their growth potential.
We must find new ways of making it easier for people to start and grow their businesses. Our report calls for the creation of an Enterprise Account – similar to the pensions dashboard currently being developed by the government –which contains everything from how to register a business, bookkeeping services and tax liabilities to how to access specific funds, as well as specialist mentor and training schemes. A digital platform such as this would help provide easy to access information for people up and down the country.
The barriers to growth – both for individuals looking to start their own business, and small businesses looking to expand – are real and are holding the UK back. Reducing the complexity in how people access information, advice and funds to start and grow their own business will ensure that Britain retains its entrepreneurial zeal.